“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

22593417How did I get the book? I bought it.

Genre: Classic

Synopsis: When five siblings – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother, the Lamb – discover a sand-fairy in their gravel pit, they are jolly surprised and a little delighted. Even better, the Psammead is able to grant them wishes, although the magic wears off at the day’s end. Unfortunately, all of the wishes the children make go hilariously wrong and they soon learn that their foolish desires are more likely to get them into trouble than get them what they want!

200words (or less) review: I was vaguely aware of Five Children and It but never read it as a child, growing up in Germany meant my childhood classic was Märchenmond. As Five Children on the Western Front was our bookclub this month I thought I’d better read this.

As the book was first published in 1902 there are some things within the story that if the book was written now I’d probably have issues with but times change, so I let it go. Ultimately this is an imaginative children’s story that you find yourself enjoying from the moment you meet the Psammead.

Grumpy at being disturbed the Psammead still grants the children a wish a day, this wish will end by sunset and of course the wish never quite turns out how they expect.

I absolutely adored E. Nesbit’s writing, the way she talks to the reader throughout. The story is fun and I completely understand why this book is a classic.

Five Children and It can be enjoyed by reading it alone, listen to someone reading it or being the one to read the book for others.

Recommend it?

Absolutely

My review of
Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
will be out tomorrow.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Didn’t manage to get through all of the books from my Fall TBR so I’m keeping those for winter. I did yet through a fair bit though :)

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard
Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
The Ship by Antonia Honeywell
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G. Howard

What’s on your list?

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banned books

Every month for the rest of 2014 ChrissiReads, Bibliobeth & I (aka Luna’s Little Library) will be reading a Banned or Challenged Book.

We’ll be looking at why the book was challenged. How/If things have changed since the book was originally published. What we actually think of the book.

If you’d like to joining in there is a list of the books we’ll be reading at the bottom of this post.

Previous Banned Book Discussion: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks as “Anonymous”

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

First published: 1982
In the 100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999 (source)
Chosen by: Luna’s Little Library
Reason: Homosexuality

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Blurb: “If you don’t put that ring on this minute, I’m going to take it back,” Annie whispered in my ear. She leaned back, looking at me, her hands still on my shoulders, her eyes shining softly at me and snow falling, melting, on her nose. “Buon Natale,” she whispered, “amore mio.”

“Merry Christmas, my love,” I answered.

From the moment Liza Winthrop meets Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there is something special between them. But Liza never knew falling in love could be so wonderful… or so confusing.

Discussion

Do you understand or agree with any of the reason for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: Not at all. Perhaps in the early eighties homosexuality wasn’t quite as accepted as it is nowadays (although there are still some nasty bigots out there) but I think this is a great book to show that there’s nothing seedy or wrong about two girls being in love. There are no graphic scenes or bad language, nothing really to warrant banning although I’m not sure how teachers would see it if they had to teach it to a class of sniggering students.

CHRISSI: No. There’s nothing particularly graphic in this book, it really is just a book about two people in love. It just so happens  that they are the same sex. That said, I can somewhat understand why teachers would shy away from it. Not because it’s an explicit story, but because there could be so many homophobic behaviours displayed during the reading of it. It would take a strong and good teacher to challenge them. I do hope there are some out there because I think homophobia should be addressed so that we can become more tolerant.

LUNA: No. For the purpose of our Banned Books Discussion I read Annie on My Mind again, this time going over it with a fine tooth-comb to see if there was anything that could be classed and explicit or graphic. There isn’t. Two people met and fall in love. They’re both female. That is the reason this book was banned, challenged and burned! Yes you read that right, burned – 1993 in Kansas City. (source)

I don’t get it. I will never get it and for that I am really grateful because it’s a load of nonsense. There I’ve said it. You love someone because of who they are not because of their gender or race. Teaching understanding and tolerance would get us so much further.

Because it’s one of the reasons that Liza is judged and also because I think it’s still one of the reasons Annie on My Mind and LGBT books are challenged (recently The Miseducation of Cameron Post was removed from a reading list) I’m going to look a bit closer at the below scene/quote from Annie on My Mind, page 194:

“…It’s – it’s so disgusting.”

[Cont. further down the same page.]

“…Read your Bible, Liza. Ms Baxter showed me it’s even mentioned there. Read Leviticus, read Romans 1:26.”

I don’t know what I said then. Maybe I didn’t say anything. I’m not sure I was able to think any more.

I do remember, though, that I went home and read Leviticus and Romans, and cried again.

Ok then… Earlier this year I read a brilliant book called This Book is Gay by James Dawson. It has a very helpful chapter which deals religion.

So let’s get to more quoting:

“The Bible has been translated and interpreted many, many times. We can’t be one hundred per cent certain what the original even said… / Even the various modern version of the Bible are different, so how can one possibly take it all literally?

Contexts change. The bible repeatedly refers to going after taxmen – who at the time were crooked. You don’t hear about Christians chasing HMRC* with flaming torches, do you?

… Jesus said precisely NOTHING on the subject. As we know, Jesus taught nothing but love and tolerance.

*HMRC is like the IRS in US

Specifically on Leviticus:

Leviticus is mean as a list of instructions…. / anyone throwing that bit of Leviticus your way should also be prepared to:

- Sell their daughter to slavery
– Never make any physical contact with a woman on her period
– Burn bulls
– Never eat shellfish (also an abomination, so BEWARE THE PRAWN)
– Never trim the hair around their head. This is forbidden.

Point made.

And:

“It’s not a negative. Don’t you know that it’s love you’re talking about? You’re talking about how I feel about another human being and how she feels about me…”

Annie on My Mind, page 222

How about now?

BETH: Well why not? The physical part of Liza and Annie’s relationship is handled very delicately – I think the most graphic part is where the word “breast” is mentioned (Oh no! Call the police!!) Apologies for my sarcasm, but I see no valid reason for this book to be banned.

CHRISSI: I hope there’s more tolerance now, but sadly I believe it probably still would be challenged in schools.

LUNA:

“Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms Stevenson. “Let love.”

Annie on My Mind, page 232

What did you think of the book?

BETH: It was a sweet love story that showed that a relationship between two people of the same sex is NORMAL. I think it would be a great book for teenagers unsure of their sexuality or out and proud!

CHRISSI: I enjoyed it. I hadn’t read it before, so I’m glad I did!

LUNA: I’ve lost count of how often I’ve read Annie on My Mind now but it’s been a lot. It’s still one of my favourite books.

Liza’s teachers, Ms Widmer and Ms Stevenson, are the adult parallel of what Liza and Annie wish to be and (while infuriating) their ending only makes the story more real.

I really really love this book because it is a wonderful, beautifully written story that makes you fall in love.

Would you recommend it?

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!

LUNA: Love this book so much! YES. (Sunshine Star)

Next book:
Lush by Natasha Friend

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Need the perfect present for a book-lover? How about come jewellery based on their favourite book?

For Christmas I am offering a special deal for the “Inspired by Books” Necklaces. Every order gets free matching earrings!

You can check out my back-catalogue for inspiration by clicking HERE

Want to Order?
Send me an email to lunaslittlelibrary (at) gmail (dot) com with details of what you’d like. For example, is there a book-cover you’d love the design based on? Colour theme?

  • Pendants start at £8 (including chain)
  • Beaded necklaces start at £12
    -The final cost is depended on the design

I will email you a design idea & quote upon approval the order will be processed.

For guaranteed Christmas delivery within the UK please submit your order by the 30 November 2014. I’m making each piece by hand so there will be a limit to how many orders can be fulfilled, first come first served.

Postage & Packing is £2 in UK (standard delivery)
£6 for international (blame the post-office for that)

Please note that international deliveries can take up to 3-6 weeks from shipping, if you want guaranteed delivery by Christmas there are still options available but the postage will be extra.

 

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20702018How did I get the book?
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Historical Fiction / Paranormal

Synopsis: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

200words (or less) review: I was really excited about The Cure for Dreaming when I heard about it so jumped on the chance to review it. See people’s true natures in visions? Sold.

I’ll admit that Olivia’s story didn’t turn out to be quite the dark and twisted tale I hoped but I still got lost in the book pretty quickly. Learning about the American Suffragette movement was definitely interesting and the pictures, quotes and adverts from the time added a little something extra.

Didn’t need to know quite so much about Dentistry in 1900 if I’m honest but that’s more to do with my feelings on leeches *shudders*. Cat Winters certainly succeeded in making Olivia’s father someone to despise, thus ensuring you were on her side. My favourite character was actually Olivia’s best friend, Frannie.

The Cure for Dreaming was an interesting read, I pretty much read the book in one sitting. I’ve had Cat Winters In the Shadow of Blackbirds sitting on my shelf for a while so I need to dig that out now. :)

Recommend it?

Yes

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chrissi&lunacompare1
The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

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In Beacon Heights High, Nolan Hotchkiss is king. His charm, wealth and good looks are deceptively seductive, and many are the students whose lives and reputations have been ruined by it. All while Nolan continues to reign, unquestioned and undisrupted. Until now, that is.

Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker seemingly don’t have much in common. Each has their own friends, dramas and goals. But one thing they do share: they all have a deep hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss. And they all think it’s about time he paid for what he’s done. They come up with the perfect murder – a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s all wishful thinking … until they wake up one morning to find that their wish has come true. Nolan has been killed – in exactly the way they planned. The thing is, they didn’t do it. So who did?

Thoughts before you started reading The Perfectionists?
CHRISSI: I had heard so much about Pretty Little Liars but I haven’t yet read the books or seen the TV show. I’m so out of the loop. It looked interesting though!

LUNA: I knew of Sara Shepard (it’d be pretty hard to miss Pretty Little Liars) but I’ve never actually read any of her books or seen PPL or The Lying Game on TV. The books are really popular so I figured The Perfectionists would be entertaining.

What did you think of Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker?
CHRISSI: There was definitely a different personality trait to them all! I thought they were interesting characters, but I didn’t really feel connected to them. I think it’s because there were several characters in such a short book. Perhaps as the series progresses, the characters will develop further.

LUNA: It took me a while to care about what happened to them and if I’m perfectly honest I still don’t have the warm fuzzies about any them.

The first impression was a bit like each girl was there to check a box: Julie (Perfect), Caitlin (Sporty), MacKenzie (Geek), Ava (Pretty) & Parker (Damaged). Then as you get to know more about them and realise there is more that the initial facade it gets better but maybe it’s because there are 5 girls and The Perfectionists is a shorter book but I didn’t connect that much with any of them.

Best bit?
CHRISSI: I was engrossed throughout and it certainly kept me turning the page.

LUNA: The story is engaging and you’re always kept guessing. I can see why Sara Shepard’s other series are so popular.

Worst bit?:
CHRISSI: There’s no resolution. I wanted some things to be tied up, so it could standalone, but it doesn’t. I’m now not sure whether to carry on the series. I’m interested, but if it’s going to be as long as the Pretty Little Liars series… I can’t commit to that!

LUNA: There is no satisfying ending in my opinion. It is set up for the The Good Girls (book 2) and nothing has been resolved from the first book. I feel a bit cheated.

Favourite character / moment?
CHRISSI: I don’t really have a favourite character or moment. I didn’t really feel connected to the characters.

LUNA: My favourite parts involved Jeremy and Caitlin. The conversations between those two were sweet and from all the girls it was probably Caitlin I liked the most, partly because of her brother and Jeremy. But then… (sorry spoilers)

Was The Perfectionists what you expected?
CHRISSI: I expected it to be a fun and engrossing read. It was!

LUNA: I don’t know why but for some reason I had it in my head that The Perfectionists was a standalone.

Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Definitely. I enjoyed it, but just wish it wasn’t part of a series. I’m looking to read more standalones as I can’t commit to too many series! I’ll definitely consider reading the next book though. I need some sort of resolution!

LUNA: Yes, it is engaging but having since looked up Sara Shepard’s other series they do continue… Pretty Little Liars is currently on book 16. So it’s a question of if you’re willing to be in it for the long-haul.

Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending Chrissi & me
The Perfectionists for review.

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From November 17th – 21st it is Anti-Bullying Week in the UK and Penguin Random House has partnered with the Anti-Bullying Alliance to launch a nationwide anti-bullying campaign inspired by the internationally bestselling novel Wonder by R J Palacio.

You can find out more details on this tumblr page: http://wonderthebook.co.uk/TeachersResources

To help spread the CHOOSE KIND message during Anti-Bullying Week Penguin Random House have provided a giveaway bundle (a copy of Wonder & 365 Days of Wonder) for me to giveaway.

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway either leave a comment below starting with the words:
I #ChooseKind because…

Or tweet: I #ChooseKind because… (insert your message) @lunaslibrary
If you can’t include @lunaslibrary in your tweet just paste the link in the comments, otherwise I won’t have a record of your entry.

Or you can do both (will count as 2 entries!) :)

Please note this is a UK only giveaway &
closes midnight on the 22nd November 2014

I #ChooseKind because…

You can read my review of Wonder by clicking the link HERE

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